The 22-year-old is at a career-high in the Emirates ATP Rankings
Gregoire Barrere has established himself this year as one of the rising stars in the game. The 22-year-old Frenchman has jumped 50 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year after reaching two semi-finals at ATP Challenger Tour events, including last week’s $75,000 tournament in Lyon, France.
He is also one of four players competing in Tecnifibre’s second-annual “Young Guns on the Road Contest.” Barrere is taking on Mitchell Krueger, Omar Jasika and Daniil Medvedev on the court and through social media in the hopes of winning a $50,000 grand prize.
Speaking from this week’s $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Blois, France, Barrere talked about life on tour and why he likes to communicate with his fans on social media.
How were you first introduced to the sport?I was five years old when I started playing tennis in my hometown. My parents played, so they introduced me to it. I liked it and eventually started playing tournaments.
When did you know you wanted to be a pro tennis player?I was 15 years old. The French Tennis Federation contacted me to train in their program with the top players between 16-18 years old. When I knew I could practise with them, I decided that I wanted to do this.
What is the best moment of your career so far?Playing in Roland Garros this year, where I had a main draw wildcard. Even though I lost, it was a great experience because I grew up in Paris and it was my dream to be in Roland Garros. I lost to David Goffin, so it wasn’t a bad loss.
What do you like most about life on the tour?I like traveling during the year to a lot of countries. I like to learn about a lot of different cultures and travel with friends, so this is a good part of the job for me. Now that I’m in Challengers and playing bigger tournaments, I’m enjoying it even more.
You have an active social media presence. Do you like interacting with fans?I do. It’s really fun to speak with them and see what they do during tournaments, and I think the fans also like to see what we do. Even my friends don’t always know exactly what I do and what life on the tour is like. Even though it’s not the ATP World Tour, I think we can still show a lot of good things from Challengers.
What did you work on in the off-season to take your game to the next level?I tried to be more solid and worked a lot more on my fitness, which was a weaker part of my game. I also tried to work on being more aggressive and coming to the net when I can.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?I want to try and get into the Top 100 as soon as possible.
Are there any Challengers you’ve played that you enjoyed most?I really like all the Challengers in France, especially the one in Quimper. I made my first final there and the organisation was very good overall.